Legionnaires outbreak: 4 dead, 65 infected, New York City on alert

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eLife - the journal/FlickreLife – the journal/Flickr

RT

New York City is in the midst of a deadly outbreak of a type of severe pneumonia known as Legionnaires’ Disease. Bronx residents have become anxious, as four people have succumbed to the illness and 65 others have been infected in the area since July 10.

According to hospital officials, fifty-five of the infected have been hospitalized.

The disease is spread by Legionella bacteria, which resides in some plumbing systems, including hot tubs, cooling towers, hot water tanks, and humidifiers. People can be infected by breathing in mist from the water. The bacteria cannot spread from person to person.

While this is not the first outbreak of the disease in New York City, the news has been spreading fear among locals. The current outbreak is regarded as very unusual as it involves five times more cases than the previous one, in which only 12 people fell sick.

Outbreaks usually occur in the summer or early fall. Some of the symptoms are coughing, fever, headaches and muscle pain.

To fight the disease, the local health department inspected 22 buildings in the Bronx, including 17 cooling towers.

View full report via RT.

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